A tour of the Veterans Hospital, Thailand

A couple of years ago when we were first pitching our Thai Reach project and looking for partners, Yui and I toured the Prosthetic and Orthotic facilities of Thailand's Veterans Hospital in Bangkok. We saw an exhibit showing the history of prosthetic design and we visited the workshops to see the then current process of making prothetics. I am always struck by the craftsmanship of molding and sculpting what will be a very personal object to someone. The doctors and staff we met were all quite blown away by our presentation showing what 3D printing can do, the Robohand, Project Daniel and E-nable, ect and were very eager to try something new. They also showed us a physical therapy ward where we met veterans making traditional Thai art, carvings and paintings. I left there with a different understanding of what it takes to make a prosthetic - it's not just science and engineering, it can be an art form as well as a means to create art. I knew that our project going forward would need to keep this in mind, never getting lost in the technology, always thinking of the creative potential of the people wearing what we create for them.